Australia has a vibrant, culturally diverse society, with over 40 per cent of the population either born overseas or with a parent born overseas.1
Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, as well as Australians who identify with more than 270 ancestries from across the world.
beyondblue recognises the complexities of identity and that people may identify with a number of communities.
Depression, anxiety and suicide can affect people from all cultures. Studies have highlighted the barriers people from diverse backgrounds encounter when accessing mental health services and finding help.
These barriers can include a stigma associated with mental health condition, a lack of knowledge about available services, GP referral patterns, language and cultural barriers, social isolation and long distances from family as well as differing cultural attitudes towards mental health. People new to Australia may also experience challenges at home and in everyday life while adjusting to Australian society and its diversity.
Racial and cultural discrimination can also impact on a person's mental health. In 2011, 1 in 7 Australians reported experiencing discrimination because of their colour or background, and this can influence how conditions such as depression, anxiety and suicide are experienced and how the person goes about seeking help and treatment.2
beyondblue has partnered with Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA)
to work with key organisations, refugees and migrants to reduce the impact of depression, anxiety and suicide among culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
beyondblue has also translated publications into over 25 languages, see the Publications section below for more information.